Can you face jail time for not paying back an online payday loan?

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Can you face jail time for not paying back an online payday loan?

Asked on January 11, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The reality is that people don't go to jail for owing money in this day and age; debtor's prison went out about the time Dickens. A debtor cannot be threatened with criminal action for non-payment unless they committed a fraud of some sort in obtaining the funds; that would be a crime. For instance, if they took out a loan without any intention of paying it back. Absent that, neither a creditor/debt collector may threaten a person with imprisonment or even the possibility of criminal charges.

These empty threats are made all the time. The fact is that, if such a threat is made, a debtor could actually bring suit against them. Additionally, they can not harass or otherwise intimidate a debtor.


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